What is it?
Nearly everyone these days carries a smartphone, fitness band, tablet, GPS unit, or some other USB-powered device with the need to charge it often. And if you tend to spend a lot of time driving, it’s worth having a dedicated USB charger that plugs into your car’s 12V accessory outlet. Portronics has come up with Car Power IV that connects not just one, but up to five devices at a time.
Well, most people don’t need to charge four tablets or phones from a single outlet at once, but if you do, this is a great option. It is especially helpful when travelling with four occupants, as it charges up to four devices at full speed simultaneously. And this is without taking up much more space like the bulky ones available in the market. We used this new charger for a month to know about its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s delve into the details.
What's in the box?
You will find two units in the box connected with a cable. This is one complete single unit with the dual-USB port unit going into the front 12V socket in the car. This is connected to a three-port hub with the help of a five feet long cable. The other clip is provided to hold the three-port hub and clamp it in the rear section of the cabin. There is no separate instructions manual or brochure outlining the specifications and all information is mentioned on the main carton itself.
How to install?
Plug in the two-port hub into the front 12V socket in the centre console or the dashboard in your car. Adjust it so that you can easily plug in USB cables in it without interfering with the storage space. Route the cable neatly into the second row and slide the clip into the seat pocket holder. The three-port USB will smoothly slide into this clip. Make sure you have fixed this properly as there is no locking mechanism to fix it in the clip.
How does it work?
This five ports USB car charger is a single unit, which comes with a permanently attached five feet cable connected to another unit, allowing it to charge three more devices through USB ports. It adheres to the spec’s standards and charges at the fastest rate that most current mobile devices support. The front two ports deliver up to 2.0-2.4A current, while the remaining three provide 2.0A charge depending on the device connected.
The device works well with Android, iOS, Windows and many more phones with different operating systems. In fact, we managed to charge powerbanks, action cameras, fitness bands, Bluetooth devices and even a digital camera. We never faced any issues with high current or high voltage as the Car Power IV gets an inbuilt chip to protect from stray currents or from over charging.
How much does it cost?
For some reason Qualcomm QC is not yet supported, but still the charger provides a quick charge faster than conventional 1.0V chargers. So, if you have a phone that supports Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 and you want to take advantage of faster charging speeds, this is a good option for fast-charging. It’s a simple plug and connect device compatible with all cars with a 12V charging socket. Remember if your car’s seat back doesn’t get pockets, you won’t be able to clip in the device. Even so, it’s compact enough to fit into a stowage place in the centre console or rest in the arm rest. It comes to the rescue on long road trips, when almost every occupant requires to charge their device at their convenience. For its good quality, robust and durable nature and hassle-free use, a tag of Rs 1,099 is not an expensive price-point at which it is being sold.
Edit: It's one year now since we have been using this product. Apart from the clip just breaking off, it's amazing how the charger has survived the rough usage. The cable and both units haven't broken and all ports work fine too.
5 USB Ports
1.5 metre long cable
Input: DC 12-24V
Output: 5V, 10.8A max (2.4A max from each port)
Price: Rs 1,099/-
- A compact, portable and good quality device
- Well-built and durable with no loose components that might come off with continuous usage
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Compatible in any vehicle with a 12V power socket
- Gets closely secured in the power outlet without popping out easily
- Available online and in stores
- No LED to indicate if the charger is on
- No separate indication when device is connected
- No separate switch to switch on/off charging
- Dangling wire doesn’t look neat
- Clip doesn’t get a lock to hold the device in place
- Not possible to clip it in cars which don’t have seatback pockets
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi